For Jose Mourinho, an old adage suggesting it can be unwise to return to the scene of former glory and expect it to work out as well, has little currency in football.
‘Never go back’ is a phrase the Chelsea manager has had highlighted to him since he was appointed to the job for the second time, but if he has been successful before then what is the barrier to repeating it?
‘Don’t say never go back to Jupp Heynckes because he went to Bayern Munich three times and on the third time he won the treble,’ Mourinho points out.
‘So don’t say that to Heynckes unless you want to say to me I have to leave again and come back again for the third time. These are like the urban myths of football.
‘I want to think that the club knows me very well and I know the club very well. I don’t think that should work negatively, it should be a plus not a minus. It should be something that helps us do well and not the other way.
‘From an emotional point of view I feel like I’m coming back,’ he adds. ‘It’s my dugout, it’s the dugout where I never lost a match. It’s my stadium, my dressing room, it’s Cobham, it’s my office, it’s the same table in my office, but by the pure professional point of view, it’s not different to when I arrive at a new club. I have the same ambitions. I don’t want people to think that this is comfortable for me, it’s more difficult, but that’s what I want.’
Mourinho also makes it clear how much he wanted to return to Stamford Bridge.
‘If one day I go back to Italy I have to go to Inter,’ he explains. ‘I don’t see myself against Inter. I don’t see myself at AC Milan, against thousands and thousands of people that would die for me to be back one day.
‘To come to England and not to come to Chelsea, that only happens if Chelsea doesn’t want me. If Chelsea doesn’t want me, I’m a professional coach and I have to be in another place but when, at the same time I want to leave Real Madrid, I want to come to England, and Chelsea is waiting for me, it’s the only decision I can make.’
It is a rare summer in England with so many top manager positions in the Barclays Premier League changing, but other potential vacancies could not have influenced Mourinho’s thinking he insists.
‘I knew that Sir Alex Ferguson was retiring many months ago and I’m so happy with his trust because it was big news for the world. I knew that because we are friends, so if I knew because I am a friend that he’s going to retire, he’s also my friend to know that the club I want to coach in England is Chelsea.
‘Of course I told him that. For Chelsea, I would have turned down every job in the world.
‘I always had good relations with Chelsea, we had always some communication, sometimes directly with Mr Abramovich and other times with other people from the board and people close to him.
‘There was always a feeling that the right moment to do it will come again, so it was basically clear in my heart it would happen and I think it was clear for them too. But we were always very calm, very relaxed and waiting for the right moment to do it.
‘I think it came at a good time. I wanted to leave Madrid, Chelsea knew that for quite a long time Rafael Benitez wasn’t staying so they were looking for a new manager, and for quite a long time I knew I had to work at another club.’